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MROs can plan future workloads with certainty based on lease end projections says IBA

Following on from its latest market update in January, award winning aviation consultancy IBA reveals its lease end projections for a range of aircraft types over the course of the next ten years. This incontrovertible data provides MRO providers worldwide with the insight necessary to plan upcoming workscopes with lessors and ensure smooth, cost-managed, transitions.

With the use of IBA.iQ, its new fleets and values data platform, IBA has identified a total of 1,300 lease returns and extensions which are to take place in 2018. The A320ceo and 737-800 aircraft are expected to account for the majority of lease ends in 2018, whilst the 767-300ER and A330-200 lead the pack for the widebodies.

With regards to narrowbody lease end projections, the data from IBA.iQ indicates that a combined 200 A319s and 737-700s have lease ends forecast in 2018, of which only 58 are for the 737-700 compared with 128 for the A319. A320-200 lease end dates are expected to exceed those of the 737-800 in both 2018 and 2019, and extensions and re-leases are expected to fill the shortfall from 2023.

Elsewhere, the projections for widebodies reveal that there are over 160 767-300ERs with lease ends expected over the next two years which are likely to be snapped up for freight conversion if suitable. A330s and 777s are expected to account for over half of lease ends in 2018 and the first 787-8s are expected to come back from their initial leases in 2022. Based on IBA’s projections there is a high concentration of lease ends to come in 2026, which could prove to be a testing year for the secondary market.

IBA’s lease end forecast for the 777-200ER shows lower volumes than for the competing A330ceo family, however storage levels have been increasing. IBA.iQ records 52 Boeing 777-200ER aircraft currently parked. First with the failure of Transaero and now VIM, it appears that placement opportunities for the aircraft are becoming scarcer and with the prospect of increased numbers of aircraft coming to market, the future for values and lease rates is gloomy.

The outlook for the 777-300ER is relatively promising. IBA has identified a spike in lease ends in 2019, many of which will be extended. IBA expects the likes of Air France/KLM will extend their leases while some of the Emirates, Cathay and LATAM aircraft are likely to be handed back to lessors. So far, aircraft appear to be firmly placed so there are no immediate concerns, however the next couple of years will put 777-300ER liquidity to the test.

Although approximately 60 to 70 A330ceo lease ends are projected per year over the next four years, the majority of these will be the smaller A330-200 model. Peak A330-200 lease ends are expected in 2020. This coincides with the peak deliveries phase in 2008 and those aircraft coming back off their first leases. While there will undoubtedly be extensions, IBA’s projection points to increased pressure on the A330-200 as we enter the ‘20s.

As illustrated by the data from IBA.iQ, the majority of extensions and returns will come from mid-life aircraft. Only around 200 aircraft below 10 years old will be available and a number of the older aircraft will head for retirement. Extracting maximum value from these aircraft in terms of tear-downs, refurbishments, conversions or re-leases will be the real challenge for MROs seeking to offer compelling services to lessors.

Overall, IBA predicts that 2018 will be characterised by extensions rather than returns, assuming that oil pricing, interest rates and other market forces remain constant. Lessors should plan ahead to meet the transitions head on, and work with MROs to meet burgeoning operator demand in the majority of global markets.